What to Expect from Oakland Raiders Defense in 2013

There is little argument to be made against the fact that the 2013 season will be another rebuilding year for Reggie McKenzie, Dennis Allen and the Oakland Raiders. 

Playing in an AFC West division that the vast majority will virtually hand to the Denver Broncos before the season even gets underway, it can be fairly easy to write the Raiders off early. 

At the same time, despite their salary-cap issues, significant roster turnover and number of holes at various spots on the depth chart, this team, like every other in the NFL, will be expected to compete by both its management and fans. 

With some talented players on offense, centered around a superstar-caliber running back in Darren McFadden, the hope is that the transition back to a much more suitable scheme will make instant improvements upon a horrendous 2012 showing. 

Where things get very interesting for the Raiders is forecasting just how the defense will look in 2013. 

Heading into the second season of Allen and Jason Tarver’s systems, to say the Raiders have overhauled their defensive personnel is quite the understatement. 

With all of the additions through both free agency and what turned out to be quite a sizable number of draft picks, the Raiders now only return two of 11 starters on defense: defensive end Lamarr Houston and safety Tyvon Branch. 

Now, it is one thing to turn over a roster for the sake of doing so amid a mass organizational rebuild, but it is another to do so making noticeable improvements. 

On the defensive side of the ball, at least, the Raiders seem to have done just that, looking to have the potential for significant improvement in a number of key areas. 


Defensive Line

Taking a look at the Raiders’ defensive personnel, there will be more initial concern surrounding the front four t...

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